Posole

BY BILL ST. JOHN

This freezes well and will be a hearty, warming delight on any cold autumn or winter’s night. It’s posole (sometimes spelled pozole), once the most common potage of these parts, a simple mix of pork, broth, hominy, chiles, garlic and onion, and the herb oregano (here, in its Mexican, not Mediterranean, showing). Niman Ranch pork is the best pig around; you may use the shoulder cut, or anything from the loin. This soup is the definition of “hearty.” The recipe comes, with a tweak or two, from Holly Arnold Kinney of The Fort restaurant in Morrison, CO, and her book Shinin’ Times at The Fort.

Ingredients:

  • 1 large white onion, chopped

  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed

  • 1 pound pork (shoulder or loin), cubed

  • 2 tbsp Mexican oregano

  • 1 bay leaf

  • 1 gallon meat broth (pork, beef or fowl, or a combo)

  • 2 pounds of hominy

  • 1/2 pound fresh, roasted mild & hot red & green chiles

  • salt to taste

  • Monterey Jack cheese (as garnish)

  • finely minced serrano chiles (as garnish)

  • chopped cilantro (as garnish)

  • lime wedges (as garnish)

In 2-3 tablespoons olive oil, lightly brown 1 large chopped white onion, 3 crushed cloves garlic and 1 pound cubed pork, 15 minutes or so. Add 2 tablespoons crushed Mexican oregano and 1 bay leaf. Add 1 gallon meat broth (either pork, beef, or fowl, or a combination), 2 pounds hominy (previously frozen, or drained, from a can), and 1/2 pound both fresh and roasted mild and hot red and green chiles, peeled, seeded, chopped. (Marczyk Fine Foods sells chiles from Kilt Farm, out near Longmont, and they are perfect.) Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer, and cook for at least 3 hours, covered, stirring occasionally and adding more liquid if necessary. Taste for salt; ladle into bowls; garnish with grated Monterey Jack cheese, finely minced serrano chiles; chopped cilantro; and lime wedges.